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ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

AMR Gears Up: Shorts

Best Running Gear for Layering: the next edition of Another Mother Runner Gears Up. We have #motherrunners—put key running gear to the test, then deliver the results so you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body. 

By Allison Pattillo

The purpose of this review is not to suggest everyone wants to wear running shorts (capris and skorts, we still love you!). However, running shorts are such integral gear to running–I mean, it is in the name–that they deserved their moment in our testing spotlight. After polling our readers, we went in search of styles that had pockets, stayed put without tugging, didn’t bunch, didn’t cause chafing and had a flattering fit, among other aspects.

While that’s a lot to ask of a few pieces of fabric, we were pleasantly surprised with the testing, which included traditional style running shorts, 2-in-1 shorts and biker/booty shorts. Read on to find your perfect pair! (Editor’s note: we realized that all the shorts featured have a built-in liner of some sort. The traditional style running shorts have briefs and the others by design. For those who prefer their shorts without liners, we apologize for the oversight.)

Brooks Chaser 5” Short

Rating: 5

Review: Our tester loved these shorts for their comfy and flattering fit, lightweight fabric (ideal for hot, humid summers) and well thought out pocket placement.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

Do the shorts have/do the following?

- Pockets?

Three total

-Have a zip pocket?

No zip, but the back pocket had a folder flap, which was relatively secure. White it didn’t seem good for a phone, it held my Auvi-Q epi-pen securely. 

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Absolutely! A drawstring made them easily adjustable, and once tightened, they stayed put.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Very comfortable - roomy, with nice freedom of movement. 

-Have a comfortable waistband?

Yes - a nice wide, flat waistband that didn’t pinch at all. 

-Feel good?

Super comfortable and the fabric was nice and lightweight - will be great for the hot summer months. 

-Make you feel good?

Yes - comfortable to wear and run in, and that style of waistband is very flattering. 

Price: $58

Size range: XS – XXL

KORSA Embrace 5" Short

Rating: 5

Review: Our tester loved these shorts -  "....that big back pocket…and the small side back pocket.  So many pockets. I carried my phone, my inhaler (in a smaller side back pocket), and I was able to zip a dollar bill I found into the front pocket – true BAMR style. I would have had room for a gel, my keys, lipbalm, they are amazing!" 

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

Do the shorts have/do the following?

- Pockets?

Six total

-Have a zip pocket?

Yes included a massive one that held my iphone! 

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes!  It did have to pull that infinity drawstring a bit, but only because my extra large phone was pulling them down slightly.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Yes

-Have a comfortable waistband?

Yes, I was a little worried the weight of my phone would pull them down, but they stayed up just fine.

-Feel good?

Yes, the fabric is really lightweight. 

-Make you feel good?

One of the better looking pair of shorts I’ve seen myself in recently. 

Price: $48

Size range: XS – XL

Janji 3” AFO–Vent Multi Short

Rating: 5++

Review: Based upon the breezy, lightweight fabric, our tester called these a “perfect short” for summer running.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Yes, five!

Have a zip pocket?

No.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes, thanks to an infinity drawcord.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Yes, although I do think they ran a little small (unless I really packed on the COVID lbs.….). I’m usually a size small and will size up to a medium for future orders.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

Yes, it’s soft and smooth.

-Feel good?

Yes, and they have a breathable, built-in liner.

-Make you feel good?

Yes!

Price: $72

Size range: XS – XL

Oiselle Long Toolbelt Roga Shorts

Rating: 5

Review: Our tester said she often feels frumpy and gangly in standard running shorts and especially dislikes it when the material bunches between her legs. These were nothing like that! She thought the style was fun, flattering and comfortable. And the material was light enough that it didn’t bunch, plus the longer inseam helped the fabric drape better.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

They have five generously sized pockets.

-Have a zip pocket?

One.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Indeed, thanks to an infinity draw cord.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

They do! The legs have an athletic cut, and the fabric has a great stretch.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

Yes, it’s wide and smooth.

-Feel good?

They really do! The fabric is soft and there was no bunching between my legs.

-Make you feel good?

While these are longer than I usually wear, they looked great and felt good.

Size Range: 2 – 24/26

Price: $64

Senita Athletics Lux High Waisted Rio Shorts (7” inseam)

Rating: 5

Review: I love these shorts and will likely buy another pair–they would still be a steal at twice the price!

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Yes, they have two, one on each thigh.

-Have a zip pocket?

No.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes, the high waist really helps them stay put. They didn’t move once I got them dialed and started running.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Yes, they are tight without being too tight.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

I’m rather short-waisted, so extra high waistbands wind up almost under my bra line. Once I folded this in half though, it was completely comfy.

-Feel good?

Yes, the fabric has a soft hand, but still wicks in humid conditions.

-Make you feel good?

Yup!

Size Range: XS – XXL

Price: $25

Brooks Method 5” Short Tight

Rating 4.5

Review: Whether you call them short tights, booty shorts or bike-style shorts, they are this tester’s go-to style for running and working out. These are slightly longer than she usually wears, which ended up being a positive, and the pocket game is on point!

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Yes, three nice ones–one on each thigh and one at the back with a secure fold-over closure. A phone fits in any of them!

-Have a zip pocket?

No.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes, and has a draw string (not that I needed it).

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Yes, but my experience is that these ran a little small…. then again, I did gain a few COVID pounds.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

Very much so, it’s wide and contoured with perforated fabric for added breathability.

-Feel good?

They do, I feel very supported when I wear these, and the 5” inseam meant no chafing for me.

-Make you feel good?

Yes, the contouring makes for a flattering fit, and I like the length feels just right.

Size Range: XS – XXL

Price: $54

Lululemon Speed Up Mid-Rise Short 4”

Rating: 4.5

Review: These are solid, stylish, trendy shorts that work as well on the road as they do at the pool or running errands. The reason they were marked down half a point is due to some occasional shorts bulge happening between the tester’s legs.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Yes, three in total.

-Have a zip pocket?

One that does fit an iPhone X.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

They have the spirit and forgiveness of the traditional split short without being a split short, which gives thighs plenty of room. Lululemon knows the female booty shape well, these both fit and flatter.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

They have a wide waistband that’s very soft on the belly and doesn’t dig. They also have an adjustable drawstring if you need it.

-Feel good?

Yes, they are made of a superlight fabric that is so good for any summer run.

-Make you feel good?

These make me feel strong and cute at the same time, which is my preferred combo.

Size Range: 0 – 14

Price: $58

Sugoi Prism Training Shorts

Rating: 4.5

Review: These work beautifully for all types of runs, plus they can do double duty for fitness classes and strength training. Our tester’s favorite aspect was the size and shape of the two thigh pockets. They are deep and curved, to hold a large phone securely.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Yes, three.

-Have a zip pocket?

No.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Once I put these on, I did not have to touch them! I debuted them on a nine-mile run–the legs did not ride up and the waistband did not roll down. Kudos!

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Given that I have a flat arse and relatively slender thighs, I have no clue. Muscular gals may find the thighs a little tight as there wasn’t a ton of “extra” room in them. If you are between sizes, size up.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

It’s incredibly comfortable! It’s wide and flat, with two seams on the back so the waistband appears to taper a bit. They also have an infinity drawcord just in case.

-Feel good?

These were very comfortable, but the fabric was a tad bit too thick and slick for me, thus why they didn’t get five stars. On the plus side though, they do hold everything in well!

-Make you feel good?

Yes, they are flattering. I also liked that I tested the deep plum purple. It was a welcome switch from black bottoms, yet they don’t reveal embarrassing sweat stains.

Size Range: XS – XL

Price: $70

Decathlon Kalenji Run Dry, Running Shorts

Rating: 4

Review: These are a great entry-level short for beginning runners or people who want to augment their athletic wardrobe without spending a ton. At $9.99, Decathlon is knocking it out of the park with these shorts.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

One.

-Have a zip pocket?

One.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes, they have a real drawstring (not the endless loop kind), so you can tighten it or simply not use it.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Kind of–they fit; they just don’t have a lot of forgiveness in the thigh area. That, combined with only one pocket, is the reason for taking away a star.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

Yes, it’s nothing unique, but it is soft.

-Feel good?

Yes, the fabric is soft and superlight.

-Make you feel good?

These count as function over fashion.

Size Range: 2XS – 2XL

Price: $10

New Balance Impact Run 2 in 1 Short

Rating: 4

Review: These shorts are well-designed and executed, stay put and prevent chafing thanks to the inner liner. These will be great in hot, humid climates for runners who like the coolness of shorts but want more modesty than may shorts provide.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Two, one on each thigh of the fitted undershorts.

-Have a zip pocket?

No.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes, these are pull-on-and-go shorts.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Yes. The fitted shorts have substantial stretch, and the loose over shorts flare, providing ample room for strong thighs and booties. If you are between sizes, consider sizing down. They are true to size but have grace in the way they are cut, which could mean too much fabric if your booty doesn’t fill out the shorts.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

The lovely, unique waistband reminds me of boardshorts. They have bunched elastic in the back and flat elastic on the front with efficient, exterior drawstrings.

-Feel good?

Yes, the fabric is very soft and supple.

-Make you feel good?

My personal style preference doesn’t skew toward layered-look shorts, but I can see the appeal of these.

Size Range: XS – 2XL

Price: $50

The North Face Flight Stridelight 2 in 1

Rating: 4

Review: The pockets in these shorts are the most generously sized of any of the shorts this tester reviewed. However, they didn’t get a perfect score due to the lack of compression in the liner (while that was a negative for our tester, if you don’t like a tight fit, these may be the 2-in1 for you!), and the fact that she would have liked a softer waistband.

Here’s an overview of reader requested benefits in our tester’s words:

-Have pockets?

Three, two being on the thighs of the liner short.

-Have a zip pocket?

One.

-Stay put without constant adjusting?

Yes, plus they have a real drawstring.

-Have a comfortable fit for strong booties and thighs?

Yes, they have an inner liner short and an outer running short. There is plenty of room, and the inner short doesn’t have a restrictive fit.

-Have a comfortable waistband?

It seems okay. It’s elastic, not a softer fabric.

-Feel good?

Yes. The outer layer is made of a breathable, perforated fabric that’s barely noticeable. The liner is lightweight spandex, which makes for a good first layer if you don’t wear undies with your running shorts.

-Make you feel good?

I would have felt better with more of a compression liner (can you tell I’m bummed by the inner liner……).

Size Range: XS – XL

Price: $89

Check out all of the AMR Gears Up columns here!

Did we miss your favorite shorts?
Let us know in the comments below!

 

2 responses to “AMR Gears Up: Shorts

  1. I’m curious as to the sizing of each of the reviewers. It would be helpful to me to know if they are close in size to what I normally wear so I would have a better idea of the fit for my body.

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